Erin Herrmann has persevered through health issues this winter to earn a second opportunity to race with the nation's best in the indoor 3,000 meters.
The senior from Wheaton, Illinois (Wheaton-Warrenville South HS) will run at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championship on Saturday, March 11 at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.
This is her second trip to indoor nationals. She finished 12th in the event last season.
"Throughout the season I had some shin problems that required a change in my training routine - one that I was not used to," Herrmann said. "As nationals approached, I grew concerned that I would not be prepared to compete against the best of D3 in the 3K.
"However, throughout the season I worked as hard as I could given the circumstance, and (distance coach Mark Northuis) was always very positive and encouraging through it all. Considering all of this, it is really hard to say how I will do on Saturday. I have faith in Coach's training and God's plan, and I just plan to go out there and give it my all and hope for the best!"
Herrmann is scheduled to run at 4 p.m. Central. She is seeded 10th out of 17 runners.
Herrmann is grateful to have made the field again.
"Last year I was right on the cusp of making it to indoor nationals, so the fact I made it was extremely exciting in itself. This year I was able to take the improvements I made through Coach Northuis' cross country training schedule to run a qualifying time at the very beginning of this track season," Herrmann said. "I can't be more thankful to be a part of a team that pushed me to be where I am today so I could get this opportunity."
Herrmann is expecting a challenging race.
"It is really hard to say how the race will go. There is some great competition, and it is definitely going to be an intense race," Herrmann said. "Last year the race went out screaming fast. We went through the first mile in 5:07, and many people (including myself) died as a result. Now knowing the tendencies this race has, I can better plan for my race strategy. Of course, I can plan all I want, but executing that plan will be another story!"